A Basic Guide to Proper Sentence Structure

Sentence structure refers to a grammatical construction that guides the reader through a sentence. It is crucial to have a proper sentence structure because it enforces coherence in a sentence.

Why Proper Sentence Structure Matters

Proper sentence structure is essential for many reasons. Correctly structuring a sentence helps establish a proper flow when reading, understanding, and writing. It also helps with clarity and readability. Avoid using phrases that are overly long or lack proper punctuation.

A well-structured sentence is a concise and impactful one. It will get the point across without wandering and without having to digest large overarching themes.

What is a Proper Sentence Structure?

A proper sentence structure is a grammar construct that guides the reader through the entire sentence. It is driven by punctuation, grammar, and the placement of certain words or phrases within the sentence that flows smoothly and makes sense.

A sentence is correctly structured when it is well-constructed.

To properly structure a sentence, you need to understand the concept of clauses which are the building blocks of a sentence. A clause is a set of words that includes both a subject and a verb.

The two types of clauses are an independent clause and a dependent clause (also known as a subordinate clause).

An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence having a subject and a verb. Meanwhile, adependent clause or subordinate clause comprises both a subject and a verb but can’t stand alone as a sentence expressing a complete thought.

For example, I forgot where I left my mobile.

In the above sentence, “I forgot” is the independent clause, and “where I left my mobile” is the dependent clause.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The 4 Kinds of Sentence Structure

The sentence structure is the backbone of your written work. It is one of the most basic parts of writing that can affect reading speed, the development of language, and understanding. There are four main types of sentence structure. Understanding these types can help you determine which sentence structure best suits your needs.

  • Simple Sentence: It contains one independent clause and expresses a complete thought. For example, Anna loves chocolate cake.
  • Compound Sentence: It contains more than one independent clause connected by conjunction or semicolon. For example, John loves football, but Jenny loves basketball.
  • Complex Sentence: It consists of one independent and one dependent clause. For example, We missed the train because we were late.
  • Compound-Complex Sentence: It contains at least one dependent clause and two or more independent clauses. For example, Laura missed school today because she was sick, but she completed her homework.


Whenever writing a sentence, it’s vital to remember punctuation, correct run-on sentences, grammar, and spelling. The importance of perfect sentence structure isn’t just for a writer. It’s an element that can make or break a piece of writing.

Every sentence should be developed in an orderly manner, but it can be done in one of four different types of sentence structure. To clear the understanding of the subject, this article explains the four different types of sentence structure to improve your writing.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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